Australia's leading manufacturer of HO scale model railway equipment
Page last Updated: 26-JANUARY-2014
"How To" and Technical Info - Locomotives
In this section:
- Technical Information
- "How To" Information
- DCC Equipped Locomotives
- Exploded Diagrams - new image! - 13-2-2010!
- Also See
What scale are Austrains models?
Austrains models are manufactured to the internationally recognised 3.5mm = 1ft HO scale, being a scale ratio of 1:87.
Are Austrains models manufactured to NMRA standards?
Will Austrains models operate with models of other manufacturers?
Yes, though since we use a very high quality mechanism they will make the performance of most other manufacturers seem very second rate.
Will Austrains models operate on layouts in the United States or other countries without alteration?
Yes, as mentioned above, Austrains products are built to NMRA standards and designed to operate on any HO layout. HO models (including Austrains products) operate on 12v DC, which is the same everywhere. Even though many countries have differing Mains voltages, once the Mains power has been through a transformer, it still comes out at 12v DC. The standard Austrain product will run quite successfully on American and other overseas layouts (and many already do!)
Are Austrains models DCC compatible?
All Austrains locos are DCC compatible. Models released before the 442/700s (80 class, 421 class, both 36 classes and the VR C class) can be fitted with a DCC chip, and many have. Models released since the 442/700s (NR class, X class etc) are fitted with an NMRA standard DCC plug to allow a DCC chip to be easily plugged in.
What is the minimum curve radius an Austrains NR loco can negotiate?
Austrains locos will go around 18" radius curves, but they are more comfortable (and look better) on wider radius curves. The NR will just make it around an 18" radius curve, but due to the length of the model the overhang is huge. We suggest a minimum of at least 20" for the NR due to its size.
How do I get the body off the C class?
Eugene <Eugsrailway@bigpond.com> offers similar advice:
Remove the front and rear handrails, remove the fuel tank this is held on with double sided tape and remove the couplers which are screwed on. The body is held on by 8 clips. 4 can be seen when the fuel tank is removed. There is another in the center of the nose and one in the center of the rear and two more that line up near the center wheel of the rear bogie, these are the hardest to get to. You should now have the body separate from the running board etc. The cab is a separate moulding and can be easily removed. as can all the windows etc.
Eugene also offers the following advice for modelers wishing to repaint Austrains models:
I have found it very difficult to remove the paint off these models and now only remove the numbers and logos and then undercoat. The V/Line version (C class) is best for this. I have tried a number of methods as suggested by members of this group (aus.rail.models) but none worked.
The last method used was brake fluid, but this just softened the paint into a gooey mess and hard scrubbing would remove it, but the brake fluid seemed to cause the plastic to go brittle and the body started to crack.
Installing DCC in the C class
Ken Silva offers the following tips to make installing DCC in the C class easier:
1: The coupler boxes have very tiny plastic washers between them and the loco body. Sometimes, they stick to the body, sometimes to the coupler box, and sometimes fall freely to the floor and get lost, so make sure they are secure when you disassemble the loco!
2: The fuel tanks don't have to be removed to get the shell off. If you start at the long end, as recommended, and gently begin prying with a small Excellite-type screwdriver between the shell and the footplate, and then squeeze the hood at the points where the clips hold onto the body, in about 10 minutes of gentle prying, the shell will come loose.
3: The channel in the weight for the wires isn't big enough and the weight will have to be removed (8 screws) and taken to the workbench to be ground out and enlarged. I know because I installed the decoder, taped the wires down, and tried to get the shell back on, but there just isn't enough room, even with very, very fine wires.
4: The tape used by the factory to hold the wiring in place quickly becomes brittle and falls loose, leaving only a sticky gooey mess that will have to be cleaned up with paint thinner. This situation will cause problems in the future as the wires and tape foul the motor and the goo gets all over everything. Replace with Kapton tape (or equivalent) and all will be well.
Just for fun and those with a sense of humour!
Thanks to John Henderson for drawing and supplying the above image!